Metal mesh blankets are used extensively in the building industry. They are composed of a wool-like mineral material between sheets of metal facing. They are used to protect the foundation of buildings and are commonly found in attics and ceilings acting as insulation and as a moisture barrier. These blankets could also be found insulating expansion joints, coke drums, and various types of power equipment.
In addition to building materials, metal mesh blankets are used on a variety heat generating elements such as exhausts and turbochargers and many other parts of a host of things such as ships, boats, trucks, power generators, and many others. They are used more directly in many other ways for heat treating, brazing, degreasing, brazing, plating, washing, drying, and many more. Metal mesh blankets are used in a great variety of applications and can be found in many different places.
Before 1980, the fabric interior of these blankets was often composed of sheets of asbestos. Its heat-resistance, sturdiness, flexibility, and inexpensiveness seemed to make it an ideal material for use in metal mesh blankets. However, consistent use of these products, including welding and cutting the blankets as is often done when they are applied, releases dangerous asbestos fibers into the air, which can be easily breathed in.
Welders and builders regularly worked with potentially asbestos filled metal mesh blankets in their projects. Nowadays, rock wool is generally used as a filler, but workers who had worked with metal mesh blankets before 1980 or those who are removing or repairing such blankets are exposed to a potentially dangerous product. People exposed now should constantly make sure that they handle the material with caution and wear appropriate safety materials, gloves and a mask or respirator.